Monthly Archives

May 2019

A glance through the life of a Lowland Gorilla to the trekking activity – Congo safari News

By | Safari News

Gorillas are the largest of the four-great species of the Apes; chimpanzees, Bonobos, and Orangutans. Gorillas are shy, rough with broad chests and shoulders, large human like hands, hairy bodies, hairy faces and small eyes. They are shy and different from monkeys because they are larger, have no tails, have bigger brains and walk upright for a long time. We are closely linked by DNA with the gorillas. They share 98.3% of the human genetic genes which makes them our closest cousins after the chimpanzees and Bonobos which have 98.8% human genes. These have attracted many tourists for Congo safaris just to encounter with the critically endangered gorillas.

The Eastern lowland Gorillas are the largest of the four species and have a more blackish coat. They are spotted in the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo in Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo.

How do gorillas move?

Just like any other Ape, gorillas have arms longer than their legs and. They have a tendency of walking on their four hind limbs at times. This kind of movement is known as knuckle walking.

What do Gorillas feed on?

Gorillas have flexible diets therefore can live in diversity of environments. Gorillas are herbivores. They eat roots, shoots, vines, pith and fruits. They rarely drink water because they feed on succulent vegetation which comprise of water as well as morning dew. However, some look for water sources and take water although rarely. During a Congo gorilla safari habituation, tourists have chance to watch the gorillas feed, and how they carry on their daily life in the wild.

How do Gorillas behave?

Gorillas display a lot more of humanlike emotions and behaviors. It has been observed that the gorillas laugh, grieve, have a strong family bond, make use of tools for survival in the forests where they reside. This behavior is what amazes tourists on Congo tours as they see humanlike behavior in animals.

Gorilla families live in groups of about 5-10 however they can even live in numbers bigger than that. Just like in a normal human family, the male is always the head. Silverbacks lead their families. They assume leadership and it lead their families for several years.

Mountain gorilla family

What are silverbacks?

Adult male gorillas are known as “Silverbacks” because of their silver colored hair on their backs and the hips. The young males are called blackbucks. The females have no special names so they are just called gorillas.

The silverback makes decisions especially where they sleep at night, feeding places, determines their moves. It does so because it must protect the family at all times, even if it costs its life just like human beings do. The silverback tends to be more aggressive, he beats its chest, and charges if he detects any threat. Silverbacks have the right to mate with anyone in the family.

Young males sometimes leave the groups as they become older to start their own lives and family as well as silverbacks heading a family.

When a silverback passes on, the gorilla family disperses to find other groups to join. Getting a group to join is a bit hard so sometimes they wait for a silverback to join them and maintain grooming the young ones.

How do Gorillas communicate?

Gorillas are so intelligent. They have taught themselves a subset of sign language. This helps them communicate with each other. They normally do a nose to nose greeting. Besides greeting, sounds they make may be classified as grunts, and barks. They use this type of communication especially when they are travelling. They scream, make signal alarms especially when warning, most often by silverbacks.

Where do Gorillas sleep?

At the end of the day, each gorilla constructs a nest of leaves and other plant materials in which they will sleep. Mothers normally share their nests with their small infants.

How do Gorillas reproduce?

Gorillas mate throughout the year. Their birth interval is about 4 years. A gorilla’s gestation is 8.5 months and normally give birth to one baby. The young one of a gorilla is called an infant. Just like humans, the gorilla infants are helpless at birth and weigh around 3-4 1bs. They gradually grow and learn how to crawl at about 2 months. Infant gorillas walk at about 8-9 months. Female gorillas nurse their gorillas until they are a round three years after which they are left to become independent.

Where to find lowland gorillas

Safari Congo to the superior Kahuzi Biega National Park and Virunga National Parks that host the unique species and encounter Congo gorilla trekking safaris for perfect memories, photography for remembrances with one of the cousins that all humans share.

What is gorilla trekking!!

Gorilla trekking is a very wonderful experience that gives opportunity to tourists to have a close encounter with these gentle giants of the jungle in their natural habitat.

The Gorilla trekking safari Congo activity involves following gorillas from where they slept last nights to where you will find them either feeding or making their nests for that day. Gorilla trekking is only done in East Africa; Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. At Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd we conduct gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda and Uganda and in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Before gorilla trekking

Before tourists start their Congo gorilla trekking tours, an advanced team of rangers sets off into the forest to find where the gorillas are. They normally start from where the gorillas slept last night following their footsteps until they find them. Rangers do this to make it easier for tourists to find them. Gorillas normally move long distance most especially if they are searching for food or water. Sometimes, if there is a fight between habituated and non-habituated gorillas, they will tend to move far and sometimes become hostile. The work of this advanced team is to establish the state in which these gorillas will be and then, they will communicate to the Park Head Quarters to tell them where the gorillas are. Because of this, chances of seeing gorillas is approximately 95%.

gorilla-trekking-kahuzi

Gorilla trekking Kahuzi Biega National Park

During your gorilla trekking safari congo

Most lodges provide packed lunch as booked, enough drinking water and walking sticks to facilitate your gorilla trek. By the help of your guide, tourists walk or are driven to the park headquarters for briefing about the do’s and don’ts while with the gorillas.

When at the Park headquarters, you will be divided into a group of eight people because the maximum number of people to trek a give gorilla family is eight. After dividing you into groups, a Guide takes you through the briefing session after which you are allowed to ask some questions. After briefing, tourists are driven to the starting point and off you will start your trek.

Gorilla trekking is fairly energetic so a certain level of fitness is always required because Congo Gorilla trekking safaris can take people 2 to 8 hours to find the gorillas. Once your trekking group finds these mountain gorillas, tourists will be allowed to spend one hour with them and then return to your lodge for relaxation as you prepare for other activities of the day or the next day.

Eastern Lowland Gorilla habituation in Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo

Just like the mountain gorillas found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Congo’s Virunga National Park, Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park are not so different from them because they come from the same family. The only different between the two is the color and the environment they live in.  Mountain gorillas have a typical black fur body and live in mountainous/ hilly areas while the Lowland gorillas have a black and brown fur body and usually live-in lowland areas.

There are only two ways a tourist on a safari Uganda Rwanda Congo can enjoy & interact with these gorillas. Just undertake a gorilla trekking safari Uganda, a gorilla safari Rwanda and a gorilla tour in Congo where you will trek these gorillas together with the park rangers in their natural habitats for about 2-8hours, upon seeing them, you will be restricted to an hour with them, watch them cuddle, play, feed, build their nests and many more. After the one-hour interaction, you will retire form the activity and return to the starting point.

3 days Kahuzi Biega National Park

Lowland gorilla

However, gorilla habituation is simply the act of training wild gorillas to become used to the sight of people.  Habituating them involves different groups of people like the conservationists, researchers, park rangers, trackers, among others who normally take a period of about 2 to 3 years complete this habituation experience. It is a learning experience that has just recently become a stable activity in these countries with gorillas. During this process, the people get to understand the gorillas deeper and individually, know their behaviors and even get to the point of naming every single one of them. In the end, if the researchers are certain that the wild gorillas are okay with the presence of people, a mock exercise is done as a way of testing to prove their facts. When the gorillas pass this kind of exercise which now includes journalists and scientists, the gorilla group is then available for trekking. The habituation experience restricts the number of people that do this activity per day, thus bookings for this kind of activity must be done 6 months prior to the actual habituation day.

Unlike Gorilla trekking that limits one’s interaction with the gorillas to only an hour, Gorilla Habituation allows interaction with the gorillas for several hours.

 

 

 

Experience unforgettable Africa safari adventures; Congo hiking safaris – Congo Safari News

By | Safari News

Kahuzi Biega National Park is a protected area situated near Bukavu town, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo close to the western bank of Lake Kivu and the Rwanda border. The park was named after its two dormant volcanoes; Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega, which are within its parameters. Covering an area of about 6,000 square kilometers (2,300 sq mi), Kahuzi-Biega is one of the biggest national parks in Congo and it is famous for its lowland gorillas.

Lowland gorilla trekking

3 days Kahuzi Biega National Park

Lowland gorillas

Lowland gorilla trekking is the major activity done in Kahuzi Biega National Park. The park has over 5 habituated lowland gorilla families that are trekked by travelers on Congo gorilla safari tours. Its an adventurous activity that involves trekking a particular gorilla family in the forest for some hours, when you see it, you are allowed to be around them for only an hour. During this hour, you make use of your phone and camera, take many photos as possible as the gorilla build their nests, care for the young ones, feed, cuddle and many more. Seeing lowland gorillas is captivating and memorable making it the most sought activity in this park.

Birding

Because the park habits more than 350 bird species with 42 being endemic to this park, it has made birding in Congo’s Kahuzi Biega National Park a very popular activity in the park. The most spotted ones include the African green broad bill, yellow crested helmet shrike, the Congo peafowl and Rockefeller’s.

Nature walks

There are various walking trails in the park that pass through the tropical rainforest to different tourism sites. The Tshibiti waterfalls trails lead you to three waterfalls in the park. During your nature walk, an experienced guide will show you different vegetation types and other wildlife species in the park. Nature walks give you opportunity to feel the natural fresh air accompanied by sweet sounds of the singing birds in the forest. The adventure makes travelers desire a longer forest walk.

With all the beauty and the tourism potentials that Kahuzi-Biega National Park boasts ranging from the awesome Eastern lowland gorillas to different primate species, we believe the park is an awesome destination to include on your itinerary to Virunga National Park on your Congo safari. You may decide to also include Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya as your next safari destinations.

Mount Kahuzi & Mount Biega hiking adventures in Congo

Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo is however is not just about lowland gorillas, it gives travelers more opportunities to explore its landscape alongside the Congo gorilla trekking safaris. The park is home to a pair of inactive volcanic mountains found within the heart of this national park you can hike. Mount Kahuzi is the highest with a height of about 3,308m above sea level while Mount Biega, is the smallest of the two stands at about 2,790m above the sea level. Hiking is one of the common activities done in this park. Hiking Mount Kahuzi takes about 4 hours to the top and 3 hours down while Mount Biega takes about 3 hours to the top and 3 hours down.

Once you hike and reach any of the summits of these two volcanoes, you will enjoy a scenic panoramic view of the entire park, you may spot some of the wildlife that habits the park, enjoying viewing the neighboring communities and countries. During your hiking adventure in Kahuzi Biega National Park, expect to see bamboo and subalpine vegetation that harbor different animals in the park and a few animals like owl-faced monkeys plus a variety of birds.

Nyiragongo hiking safari Congo

After your lowland gorilla trekking Safari Congo in Kahuzi Biega National Park, you can also visit Virunga National Park and experience a double gorilla trekking safari in Congo. Virunga National Park Congo offers a mountain gorilla safari tour Congo making Congo the only destination in Africa with different species of gorillas. It may seem the same experience but they are different because you are going to trek a different specie of gorillas that live in a different environment; mountainous area hence the name mountain gorillas.

Virunga National Park Congo is the popularly visited destination in the country with two popular activities done in the park which are Mountain gorilla trekking and a hike to Mount Nyiragongo summit. Mount Nyiragongo is within the Virunga massif close to the Albertine rift a region that is very rich in diversity within Africa. Mount Nyiragongo is about 3,470m high with two distinct lava benches one about 3,175m (10,417ft) and the other at 2,975m (9,760ft). Mount Nyiragongo is one of Africa’s recently active stratovolcanoes with a lava lake once known as the most voluminous. The most common activity on mount Nyiragongo is hiking especially done alongside Congo gorilla trekking safaris in Virunga National Park.

This amazing Volcano is 20km north of Goma town (capital of the North Kivu province in the Eastern DRC) and just west of the border with Rwanda. From 1882, Mount Nyiragongo has erupted at least 34 times. In 1977, there was an active volcanic activity when the walls fractured and the lava lake drained in one hour creating the fastest lava flow recorded (40mi/h). Mount Nyiragongo is one of the recent active volcanoes and for this uniqueness many are always daring to hike Mount Nyiragongo and never have they been disappointed, the lava and hike experience are 2 different and memorable Congo safari activities.

A hike to Mount Nyiragongo is briefly a single day Congo tour hike and a single day descend with a night spent at the summit.

You can decide to take the Nyiragongo volcano hike either as a stand-alone trip or tailor it with a Congo gorilla trekking safari to Virunga National Park. One can also opt to tailor their safari with a Uganda wildlife safari during an extended or long safari.

For a Mount Nyiragongo trek, you arrive from your destination probably Kigali International Airport which is the closest airport with daily flight then transfer to Goma town.

On the first day of the trek, you are expected to be at the hike start point by 8:00am Congo local time.

The ascent up the volcano starts at around 10:00am with most climbing groups reaching the summit by 5:00pm. The trek is split in to five legs, so you get four rest stops of about 20 minutes each as you regain your strength and collect your breath. On arriving at the summit, you will spend the night on the crater in small summit cabins just enough for your rest through the cold night.

Early morning before sunrise after taking memorable pictures of the lava at the summit, by around 6:00am getting you then start the descend back to the hike start point going through the steep rocky trail.

In case you need help with the hike and your luggage, hiring a porter at a fee is the best option.

 

Interesting facts about Baby gorillas – Uganda safari News

By | Safari News

Just like a human’s new born, a gorilla’s new born is referred to as a baby or an infant. Baby gorillas born weigh about 3-41bs which is about half the average of human babies whose weight is usually around 7 pounds.

Gorilla infants are helpless at birth so the mother gorillas nurse their babies for about 3 years, following which the young become more independent. Tourists that have had safaris in Uganda and safaris in Rwanda have seen mother gorillas take care of their babies during their Uganda Rwanda Congo gorilla trekking safaris.

Much like human babies, baby gorillas are born cute. They also crawl before learning to walk and they love breast milk. Gorilla infants develop quickly because they learn to crawl at about 2 months and are walking by the time they are around 8 or 9 months.

At about four months, Baby gorillas learn to cling to their mothers’ or are experts at grasping their mothers’ fur backs before learning to walk at around nine months. During Congo gorilla trekking safaris, tourists encounter with gorillas carrying babies on their back.

Gorilla infants stay with their mothers for about three to four years. During these years, it is the time a female gorilla waits between pregnancies. And on average it takes about 5 years.

Unlike adult gorillas who make their nests on the ground, young gorillas usually build their nests in trees. However, very young nursing gorillas usually share a nest with their mothers. During gorilla safaris Uganda Rwanda Congo, tourists have witnessed mother take care of their babies.

Baby gorillas start to put plants into their mouth as part of their diet because gorillas normally breast feed for about 6 months. At 8 months they regularly consume solid food since at 8 months, the baby gorilla is regarded fit to feed on normal plants.

At approximately 3 years, gorilla infants are set to become independent because their mother at this time is preparing to give birth to the next baby.

Book your Congo gorilla safari Now!

Must have travel documents for your Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo safari – Congo safari News

By | Safari News
3 days Kahuzi Biega National Park

Lowland gorillas

As you plan to set off for your your Congo safari to Kahuzi Biega National Park, ensure you or your travel company like Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd has secured for you all the Congo travel requirements before you enter the Democratic Republic of Congo for your Congo wildlife safari, Congo gorilla trekking safari, or Congo birding safari. Do you know the travel document required before you go to Congo? Never mind, here is a checklist for you!

A Congo Visa

Before  get into Congo for a safari, you are required to have a Congo Visa however, you are required to process it earlier than your travel dates. The Institute Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN); the Congolese wildlife authority, has an agreement with Direction Générale de Migration (DGM), the Congolese immigration service, to facilitate obtaining 2-week, single entry tourist visas for people visiting for safaris in Congo.

To qualify for a Congo tourist visa, you must first purchase a safari package in any of the National Park; Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo or in Virunga National Park. Your tourist Visa will be sent electronically by the email provided during booking 2 weeks before your travel date. Ensure to print out the visa and present it at the border at Grande Barriere building along with the package confirmation details. Alternatively, your tour company can help you organize this visa before your travel dates.

If you are using Ethiopian Airlines to fly direct to Goma Airport in Congo, ensure to notify the tourism team two weeks before your schedule flight with the name of your departure flight to ensure that your visa information is communicated to the Airline.
Transportation in Congo

Yellow fever immunization certificate

Just like in other countries, A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is also required if you are to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo. You are required to get vaccinated back in your home country at least 10 days before departure and it should be authentically signed and stamped and after you must carry it along with you for your safari. The yellow fever vaccination certificate should show your full names, date of birth and sex as it does appear on your passport.

Fly with the Ethiopian Airlines

For tourists planning to travel to Congo, you can get into the country by either air or road. If you are flying directly into Congo, the Ethiopian Airlines is the best means of transport to use however the airline goes to Goma once a week and returns in Seven days. If your safari is not taking this long then the neighboring Kigali International Airport in Rwanda is the best option since the Airport has daily fights. After your safari, you can be driven to Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport for your flight back home.

If you are arriving into DRC using a safari vehicle for instance connecting from Rwanda or from a Uganda, the entry point for visitors is through the city of Goma at the Grand Barriere border crossing.

You can tailor your Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo safari with a Uganda wildlife safari, a Uganda gorilla trekking safari or gorilla safari Rwanda and make your trip memorable with ultimate Africa safari memories.

Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd

error: Content is protected !!